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What To Eat In Amritsar


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Amaleta Desai



Welcome to the enchanting city of Amritsar, located in the vibrant state of Punjab, India. Known for its rich history, cultural heritage, and warm hospitality, Amritsar is also a culinary paradise for food lovers. The city’s delectable cuisine reflects the flavors and traditions of the region, offering a delightful experience for both locals and visitors alike.


Amritsar, home to the iconic Golden Temple, attracts millions of tourists from around the world who come to seek spiritual solace, witness the grandeur of Sikhism, and savor the city’s gastronomic delights. The blend of flavors, spices, and cooking techniques in Amritsar’s cuisine creates a unique culinary experience that will leave your taste buds wanting more.


Amritsar’s cuisine has its roots in the traditional Punjabi cuisine, known for its hearty and flavorful dishes. The local food scene is dominated by street food, making it a haven for those who crave an authentic and affordable culinary adventure. From aromatic spices to mouthwatering kebabs and sweets, there’s something to satisfy every palate in Amritsar.


In this article, we will take a gastronomic journey through Amritsar’s most famous street food and traditional dishes. Get ready to explore the flavors of Amritsar’s culinary treasures, from the famous Amritsari Kulcha to the savory Amritsari fish, and indulge in the irresistible sweets like Jalebi and Pinni. So, put on your culinary hat and let’s dive into the enticing world of Amritsar’s culinary delights!


Amritsar and its Culinary Delights

Amritsar, often referred to as the “Food Capital of Punjab,” is renowned for its vibrant food culture and irresistible flavors. The city’s culinary scene is a perfect fusion of traditional Punjabi cuisine with influences from Mughlai and Afghan cuisines. This unique blend gives birth to a diverse range of mouthwatering dishes that are sure to leave a lasting impression.


One of the key factors that makes Amritsar’s food so special is the use of fresh and high-quality ingredients. From the rich flavors of ghee and butter to the aromatic spices like cardamom, cinnamon, and saffron, every ingredient used in Amritsar’s cuisine adds depth and character to the dishes.


The culinary delights of Amritsar are not limited to fancy restaurants or fine dining establishments. The city’s true gems can be found on its bustling streets and in its humble-looking food stalls. These street vendors and dhabas (roadside eateries) serve up some of the most authentic and flavorsome food that will make your taste buds dance with joy.


One of the reasons behind Amritsar’s culinary fame is the city’s proximity to the fertile land of Punjab. The region is known as the “Granary of India” for its abundant harvests of wheat, rice, and lentils. This agricultural richness directly translates into the delicious and satisfying cuisine of Amritsar, where bread, grains, and lentil-based dishes form the heart of many meals.


Amritsar’s culinary heritage is also deeply rooted in the Sikh culture. The community kitchen at the Golden Temple, known as the Langar, serves free meals to thousands of devotees and visitors every day. This practice of selfless service, known as seva, is a testament to the city’s commitment to hospitality and inclusivity.


Whether you’re a vegetarian or a meat lover, Amritsar has something to offer for everyone. From the iconic Amritsari Kulcha, stuffed with a spicy potato filling and cooked in a tandoor, to the succulent Amritsari fish fry, marinated in a secret blend of spices and fried to perfection, the city boasts an array of culinary delights that are sure to tantalize your taste buds.


So, get ready to embark on a culinary adventure as we delve deeper into the famous street food and traditional dishes that make Amritsar a gastronomic haven.


Famous Street Food of Amritsar

When it comes to street food, Amritsar is a treasure trove of delicious and mouthwatering delights. The vibrant streets of the city are lined with food stalls and vendors, offering a wide array of flavors that will tantalize your taste buds. From crispy snacks to flavorful chaats, Amritsar’s street food scene is a haven for food enthusiasts.


One of the most famous street foods in Amritsar is the iconic Amritsari Kulcha. This soft and fluffy bread, stuffed with a flavorful mixture of mashed potatoes, onions, and spices, is cooked in a traditional tandoor (clay oven). The result is a heavenly combination of crispy and smoky bread with a spicy and tangy filling. Served with a dollop of butter and accompanied by tangy chole (spicy chickpeas), this dish is a must-try when visiting Amritsar.


Another popular street food in Amritsar is the Amritsari Fish Fry. Made with fresh fish, marinated in a blend of spices like ginger, garlic, ajwain (carom seeds), and fried to perfection, this dish is a seafood lover’s delight. The outer coating is crispy, while the fish inside remains tender and succulent. Served with mint chutney and a squeeze of lemon, the Amritsari Fish Fry is a culinary sensation that will leave you craving for more.


No street food experience in Amritsar is complete without indulging in the city’s famous lassi. Served in large earthen pots, the Amritsar lassi is a thick and creamy yogurt-based drink. It is flavored with cardamom, saffron, and garnished with a generous amount of chopped dry fruits. The refreshing and cooling effect of this sweet and tangy drink makes it the perfect accompaniment to the spicy street food of Amritsar.


For those looking for a quick and satisfying snack, the Aloo Tikki of Amritsar is a must-try. These crispy potato patties are made with boiled and mashed potatoes, mixed with a blend of spices and herbs, then shallow fried until golden brown. Served with tangy tamarind chutney and spicy mint chutney, the Aloo Tikki is a beloved street food that will leave you craving for more.


Amritsar is also known for its hearty and comforting Punjabi dishes, such as Makki di Roti and Sarson da Saag. Makki di Roti is a bread made with cornmeal and traditionally cooked on a tawa (griddle). It is served with Sarson da Saag, a delectable dish made from mustard greens and spinach, seasoned with spices and a generous amount of ghee. This combination is a celebration of the rich flavors and textures that Punjabi cuisine offers.


To satisfy your sweet tooth, don’t miss out on the famous Jalebi and Pinni of Amritsar. Jalebi is a deep-fried pretzel-shaped sweet treat made from a fermented batter, soaked in sugar syrup, and garnished with saffron threads. Pinni, on the other hand, is a traditional Punjabi sweet made from roasted flour, ghee, sugar, and a mix of nuts and dry fruits. These sweets are a delightful end to a flavorsome street food feast in Amritsar.


With an array of flavors, textures, and aromas, Amritsar’s street food scene offers a culinary experience like no other. So, grab a plate, stroll through the bustling streets, and explore the vibrant world of Amritsar’s street food.


Amritsari Kulcha: A Must-Try Dish

Amritsari Kulcha is an iconic dish that has put Amritsar on the culinary map of India. This delicious stuffed bread is a specialty of the city and a must-try for anyone visiting Amritsar. With its crispy exterior, soft and fluffy interior, and the burst of flavors from the spicy potato filling, Amritsari Kulcha is a gastronomic delight that will leave you craving for more.


The process of making Amritsari Kulcha begins with preparing the dough, which is a combination of maida (refined flour), yogurt, baking powder, and a pinch of salt. The dough is then allowed to rest, which helps to give the bread its characteristic texture. While the dough is resting, the stuffing mixture is prepared, consisting of mashed potatoes, finely chopped onions, green chilies, ginger, garlic, and a blend of aromatic spices like cumin, coriander, and amchur (dried mango powder).


Once the dough and stuffing are ready, small portions of dough are taken and rolled into balls. Each ball is then flattened and stuffed with a generous amount of the prepared filling. The edges are sealed, and the stuffed dough ball is rolled out into a round shape. Before cooking, the kulcha is typically topped with a sprinkle of sesame seeds, nigella seeds, and chopped coriander for added flavor and visual appeal.


The traditional way of cooking Amritsari Kulcha is in a tandoor, a clay oven that imparts a distinct smoky flavor to the bread. The kulcha is carefully placed on the hot tandoor walls and cooked until it turns golden brown and has a slightly charred appearance. The intense heat of the tandoor ensures that the kulcha cooks quickly, resulting in a crispy exterior while retaining its softness on the inside.


Amritsari Kulcha is typically served hot, straight from the tandoor, along with a dollop of butter on top. It is often accompanied by a side of tangy and spicy chole, which is a chickpea curry. The combination of the soft and flavorful kulcha with the spicy and tangy chole creates a perfect harmony of textures and flavors.


Amritsari Kulcha is not just a popular street food snack but has also made its way into restaurant menus across the country. It has gained such popularity that it is now considered a must-try dish for anyone visiting Amritsar. Whether you enjoy it as a breakfast item, a lunchtime indulgence, or an evening snack, Amritsari Kulcha is a culinary experience that will tantalize your taste buds and leave you yearning for more.


The Alluring Flavor of Amritsari Fish

Amritsari Fish is a culinary gem that showcases the rich flavors and techniques of Punjabi cuisine. This tantalizing dish is a must-try for seafood lovers visiting Amritsar. The combination of fresh fish, marinated in a blend of spices and fried to perfection, creates a dish that is not only visually appealing but also bursting with flavor.


The secret to the alluring flavor of Amritsari Fish lies in the marinade. The fish, often a white fish like Singhara or Sole, is marinated in a mixture of ginger-garlic paste, lemon juice, ajwain (carom seeds), red chili powder, turmeric, and gram flour. The marinade is left to infuse the fish with its aromatic flavors for at least an hour, allowing the spices to penetrate the flesh and enhance its taste and tenderness.


After marination, the fish is coated in a mixture of gram flour (besan) and rice flour, which gives it a crispy and golden outer layer when fried. The fish is then deep-fried in hot oil until it achieves a beautiful golden-brown color and a perfectly crispy texture. The frying process ensures that the fish remains succulent and flaky on the inside while acquiring a delightful crunch on the outside.


The flavors of Amritsari Fish are further enhanced by the judicious use of spices. The combination of ajwain (carom seeds), ginger, and garlic lends a unique and slightly tangy flavor to the fish. The red chili powder adds a subtle heat, while the turmeric adds a warm and earthy note. All these spices come together harmoniously to create a delightful explosion of flavors.


Amritsari Fish is typically served hot, garnished with a sprinkle of chaat masala and a generous squeeze of lime juice. It is often accompanied by mint chutney and onion rings, which add freshness and a touch of crunch to the dish. The burst of flavors, textures, and aromas in each bite of Amritsari Fish is what makes it an absolute delight for food enthusiasts.


Although Amritsari Fish is traditionally a street food dish, it is now widely available in restaurants across Amritsar and beyond. The popularity of this dish has transcended borders, making it a sought-after delicacy for seafood aficionados worldwide. Whether enjoyed as an appetizer, a main course, or a snack, the alluring flavor of Amritsari Fish is sure to leave a lasting impression.


The Iconic Amritsar Lassi

When it comes to refreshing beverages, the iconic Amritsar Lassi holds a special place in the hearts of locals and visitors alike. This traditional Punjabi drink not only helps beat the heat but also offers a delightful blend of flavors and textures that will leave you craving for more.


Amritsar Lassi is a thick and creamy yogurt-based drink, known for its rich and indulgent taste. It is made by churning yogurt with a special wooden whisk called a mathani in a large metal vessel called a bhaand. The churning process not only creates a smooth and velvety texture but also adds air, giving the lassi its characteristic frothiness.


The flavor of Amritsar Lassi is further enhanced by the addition of aromatic ingredients. Cardamom, saffron, and rose water are commonly used to add a hint of fragrance and depth to the drink. The lassi is typically sweetened with sugar or sometimes jaggery, a traditional unrefined sugar, to balance out the tanginess of the yogurt.


Amritsar is known for its generous and lavish hospitality, which is also reflected in the size of the serving of Amritsar Lassi. Served in large earthen pots, the lassi is meant to be shared and enjoyed with family and friends. The communal experience of sipping on this delightful drink adds to its charm and creates a sense of togetherness.


Amritsar Lassi is not just a beverage; it is an experience. As you take your first sip, you will be greeted with a burst of flavors. The creamy and tangy yogurt blends harmoniously with the sweetness of the sugar, while the aromatic spices add a touch of warmth and complexity. The texture is wonderfully smooth and velvety, making each sip a decadent delight.


Aside from its delectable taste, Amritsar Lassi is also known for its cooling properties. The yogurt base provides a soothing and refreshing effect, making it the perfect accompaniment to spicy and hearty Punjabi cuisine. It is often enjoyed as a post-meal treat or on hot summer days to provide instant relief from the scorching heat.


Amritsar Lassi has gained such popularity that it has spread beyond the streets of the city. It can now be found in various cafes and restaurants across the country, with different variations and flavors. From the classic sweet lassi to the indulgent mango lassi or the savory salted lassi, there is a lassi to suit every palate.


So, the next time you visit Amritsar, don’t forget to indulge in the iconic Amritsar Lassi. Whether you enjoy it in a traditional clay pot or opt for a modern twist, this beloved Punjabi drink will transport you to a world of creamy goodness and leave you refreshed and satisfied.


The Tempting Aloo Tikki of Amritsar

Amritsar is known for its delectable street food, and one dish that stands out is the tempting Aloo Tikki. This popular snack is a delicious potato patty that is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Made with boiled and mashed potatoes mixed with a variety of aromatic spices and herbs, the Aloo Tikki is a tantalizing treat for your taste buds.


The process of making Aloo Tikki starts with boiling potatoes until they are soft and cooked through. Once cooled, the potatoes are peeled and mashed to a smooth consistency. To enhance the flavor, a mixture of spices such as cumin, coriander, turmeric, and chili powder are added to the mashed potatoes. Finely chopped onions, green chilies, ginger, and garlic are also incorporated into the mixture to give it a taste that is both tangy and spicy.


Once the mixture is well combined, small portions are taken and shaped into flat discs. These discs are then shallow-fried until they turn golden brown and develop a crispy outer layer. The use of minimal oil in the cooking process ensures that the Aloo Tikki is not overly greasy, allowing the flavors of the potatoes and spices to shine through.


The Aloo Tikki is often served with a variety of accompaniments that take its taste to the next level. Tangy tamarind chutney, spicy mint chutney, and creamy yogurt are common toppings that add a burst of flavor and refreshing contrast to the rich and spicy Aloo Tikki. Some vendors also sprinkle chaat masala on top, which further enhances the tanginess of the dish.


What makes the Aloo Tikki of Amritsar truly special is the variety of textures it offers. The outer layer is delightfully crispy, providing a satisfying crunch with every bite. Inside, the mashed potatoes are soft and creamy, melting in your mouth and creating a heavenly experience. The combination of textures, along with the explosion of flavors, makes the Aloo Tikki an irresistible snack for food enthusiasts.


Aloo Tikki is not just a standalone dish; it is often used as a versatile component in other popular street food dishes. It can be paired with chole (spicy chickpea curry) to create the famous Aloo Tikki Chaat. In this preparation, the Tikki is drenched in tangy tamarind chutney and mint chutney, sprinkled with chopped onions and fresh coriander, and topped with a generous serving of spicy chickpeas. The result is a flavor-packed explosion that showcases the creativity and ingenuity of Amritsar’s street food scene.


The Aloo Tikki of Amritsar is a must-try for anyone craving a flavorful and satisfying snack. Whether enjoyed on its own or as part of a chaat, this mouthwatering dish will leave you craving for more. So, the next time you visit Amritsar, be sure to indulge in the tempting Aloo Tikki and experience the culinary delights this vibrant city has to offer.


Amritsari Makki di Roti and Sarson da Saag

Amritsari Makki di Roti (cornmeal flatbread) and Sarson da Saag (mustard greens curry) are a classic combination that represents the heart and soul of Punjabi cuisine. This traditional dish is not only a culinary delight but also a cultural symbol that showcases the rich flavors and agricultural heritage of the region.


Makki di Roti is a bread made from cornmeal, which gives it a distinctive golden color and a slightly coarse texture. The dough is prepared by combining cornmeal, water, and a pinch of salt, and then kneaded until it forms a smooth and pliable consistency. The roti is typically cooked on a tawa (griddle) until it turns golden brown and develops a delicious crispness.


Sarson da Saag, on the other hand, is a curry made from a combination of mustard greens and other leafy greens such as spinach or bathua (goosefoot). The greens are finely chopped and cooked with a medley of spices such as ginger, garlic, green chilies, and turmeric, along with a generous amount of ghee (clarified butter) for flavor. The slow cooking process allows the flavors to meld together, resulting in a rich and hearty curry.


Makki di Roti and Sarson da Saag are a match made in culinary heaven. The earthy and slightly sweet flavor of the cornmeal roti pairs perfectly with the robust and spicy flavors of the saag. The crispness of the roti provides a satisfying contrast to the creamy texture of the saag, creating a delightful sensory experience with every bite.


This dish is not only a celebration of taste but also a reflection of the agricultural heritage of Punjab. The region is known for its fertile soil and abundant harvests, with mustard greens being one of the primary crops. The use of fresh and locally sourced ingredients adds to the authenticity and wholesomeness of Amritsari Makki di Roti and Sarson da Saag.


Amritsari Makki di Roti and Sarson da Saag are often enjoyed with a dollop of butter on top, which melts and adds a rich and creamy element to the dish. Additional accompaniments such as pickles, raita (yogurt-based side dish), or a side of fresh salad complete the meal, providing a well-rounded and satisfying dining experience.


Not only is this dish a staple in Punjabi households, but it is also a popular choice in restaurants and dhabas (roadside eateries) across Amritsar. The warm and comforting flavors of Amritsari Makki di Roti and Sarson da Saag make it a favorite choice during the winter months when the abundance of fresh greens is readily available.


Amritsari Makki di Roti and Sarson da Saag are more than just a meal; they are a cultural experience that showcases the deep-rooted traditions and culinary heritage of Punjab. So, if you want to savor the essence of Punjabi cuisine, be sure to indulge in this iconic combination when visiting Amritsar.


Sweet Treats: Jalebi and Pinni

Amritsar is not only known for its savory street food but also for its irresistible sweet treats. Two classic desserts that have captured the hearts and taste buds of locals and visitors alike are Jalebi and Pinni. These delightful indulgences offer a perfect balance of textures and flavors that will satisfy any sweet tooth.


Jalebi is a popular Indian sweet made by deep-frying pretzel-shaped batter in circular motions, resulting in crispy, golden-brown swirls. The fried jalebis are then soaked in a flavorful sugar syrup, absorbing its sweetness and becoming delightfully sticky. The syrup also adds a touch of aroma, often infused with saffron or cardamom, giving Jalebi its distinctive taste. Whether enjoyed hot and crispy or at room temperature, these syrup-soaked spirals are a beloved dessert across the country.


Pinni, on the other hand, is a traditional Punjabi sweet made from roasted flour, ghee (clarified butter), sugar, and an assortment of nuts and dry fruits. The ingredients are mixed together to form a thick dough, which is then shaped into small balls or flattened discs. Pinni is typically enjoyed during festive occasions and is considered both a delectable treat and a source of energy.


The allure of Jalebi lies in its crisp texture and its perfect balance of sweet and tangy flavors. Each bite delights the senses with a slight crunch followed by the burst of sugary syrup. The syrup imparts a satisfying sweetness that is complemented by the subtle hints of saffron or cardamom. Jalebis are often enjoyed on their own or paired with a warm glass of milk or creamy rabri, a thickened milk-based dessert, for a truly indulgent experience.


Pinni, on the other hand, offers a completely different kind of sweetness. The rich flavors of roasted flour and ghee give Pinni a warm and nutty taste that is perfectly complemented by the natural sweetness of sugar. The addition of nuts and dry fruits adds a delightful crunch and an extra layer of flavor to this delectable sweet. Pinni is often enjoyed during winters as it is believed to provide warmth and energy to the body.


Both Jalebi and Pinni hold a special place in Punjab’s culinary culture, and their popularity extends beyond Amritsar. These sweets are often savored during festive occasions, religious celebrations, and weddings, bringing joy and sweetness to every gathering. They are also sought-after treats among travelers who want to experience the flavors of Punjab.


Amritsar offers a wide array of sweet shops and vendors where you can find freshly made Jalebi and Pinni. The vibrant colors and enticing aromas will captivate your senses, making it difficult to resist indulging in these traditional sweets.


So, if you have a sweet tooth and a craving for something truly delightful, don’t miss the opportunity to savor the heavenly flavors of Jalebi and Pinni when you visit Amritsar. Their unique tastes and cultural significance make them an essential part of the culinary experience in this vibrant city.



Amritsar, with its rich culinary heritage and vibrant food scene, offers a gastronomic journey like no other. From the famous street food delights to the traditional Punjabi dishes, the city is a haven for food lovers seeking authentic and flavorsome experiences.


Whether you’re indulging in the iconic Amritsari Kulcha, savoring the alluring flavor of Amritsari Fish, or cooling off with a refreshing Amritsar Lassi, each bite and sip in Amritsar promises to take you on a culinary adventure.


The city’s famous street food is a testament to the vibrant food culture and craftsmanship of the local vendors. The tempting Aloo Tikki, with its crispy exterior and flavorful potato filling, and the satisfying combination of Amritsari Makki di Roti and Sarson da Saag, showcasing the heartiness of Punjabi cuisine, are must-try dishes that capture the essence of Amritsar’s culinary delights.


And let’s not forget the sweet treats that add a touch of sweetness to the experience. The golden and syrup-soaked Jalebi, with its crispy texture and tangy-sweet flavors, alongside the warm and nutty Pinni, create a perfect ending to a scrumptious meal.


Amritsar’s culinary offerings are not just about the food itself but also about the history, culture, and hospitality that come along with it. The city’s famous street food stalls and dhabas are not just places to satisfy hunger, but they also foster a sense of community and togetherness.


So, whether you’re a visitor or a local, exploring the culinary treasures of Amritsar is an experience that will leave you with delightful memories and a deep appreciation for the city’s food culture.


In conclusion, Amritsar’s culinary delights offer a feast for the senses. The unique blend of flavors, the warmth of hospitality, and the rich cultural heritage make every dish a culinary masterpiece. From the streets to the fine dining establishments, Amritsar is a food lover’s paradise that never fails to impress. So, embark on a culinary journey to Amritsar and indulge in the sensational flavors that this vibrant city has to offer!